Sports is vital in world peace, says Kenyatta

By sportsnewsarena correspondent
Jan 13, 2014
  • President Kenyatta hands over the Commonwealth Games baton to Dr Kipchoge Keino.

Sports plays an important role in creating economic opportunities and promoting world peace.

President Uhuru Kenyatta noted that Kenya is a major participant in key international sports activities, including the Olympics and Commonwealth Games, to be part of the global peace initiatives.

“The Government of Kenya believes in the power of Games to unite the Commonwealth fraternity and through them, promote the unity and understanding of the people of the whole world,” the President said at State House, Mombasa, when he hosted the Glasgow 2014 Queen’s baton relay team on sunday.

The baton was conveyed to the President by Commonwealth Games Federation representative, Sharad Rao, after receiving it from Kenyan marathoner Catherine Ndereba and 1954 Commonwealth games participant Nyandika Maiyoro.

He described the baton as a symbol of the shared values of a common bond of friendship and experiences within the Commonwealth states.

“It is this bond of friendship which, today, gives us the platform to compete as brothers and sisters from a shared heritage,” added the President.

President Kenyatta urged the sports managers to ensure Kenya sends a strong team to the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympic Games.

He challenged key players including the National Olympic Committee of Kenya, sports federations and corporate sponsors to supplement the Government’s effort by committing more financial and human resources to prepare the Kenyan teams for the Glasgow 2014 Games.

He assured the federations that Government will put in place right systems to guarantee a steady growth and improvement of the sports industry in the country.

President Kenyatta thanked the Commonwealth Games Federation for the consistency in organizing the Queen’s Baton Relay through the member nations and territories since the 1958 Commonwealth Games in Cardiff, Wales.

He thanked senior athletes who have put Kenya on the map over the years. He singled out Nyandika Maiyoro, the bare feet athlete who took part in the 1954 Vancouver games in Canada.

“Am happy that Mr. Maiyoro is here today and participated in bringing the baton to the podium,” he said.

The baton which began its journey on October 9 last year at Buckingham Palace, London, will travel to 70 nations and territories across the world in seven months before arriving in Scotland ahead of the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow on July 23 this year.

British High Commissioner Dr. Christian Turner lauded the strong ties existing between Britain and Kenya pointing out that the two countries have a special relationship which is exhibited in sports among other things.

The Commonwealth games will be held in Glasgow, Scotland a country that has close ties with Kenya.

"The first post independent football match was played on December 15th 1963 and it was between Scotland and Kenya,” he said.

Also present was the Cabinet Secretary of Sports Dr. Hassan Wario.(PPS)